Over at CQ, Jane Harman challenges Jeff Stein to a race.
The kind with running shoes and enthusiasts jamming paper cups brimming with water into your hands.
Stein, the veteran reporter who’s been breaking the story of her alleged agreement to intervene on behalf of former AIPAC staffers charged in a classified information case, wants to make it next week, from her office on the Hill to AIPAC’s policy conference at the convention center.
And, a true gentleman, he makes up for making Harman a year older (she’s 63, he had reported her as 64) by revealing that he’s older than she is.
I’m thinking sunset years Kate Hepburn and Spence Tracy — No. No, we won’t go there.
Harman doesn’t quite say whether this initiative was proposed by Lanny Davis, the lawyer and P.R. pro she just hired to help her out in this mess, saying only this:
My day job, road races and family leave me too little time to feed the insatiable beast (the press)," Harman said in a statement late Wednesday. "Lanny is an old and trusted friend who has expertise in getting the facts out.
If he’s responsible, AIPAC should have brought Davis in years ago. We all might be a little less busy if ex-AIPACker and indictee Steve Rosen had challenged David Szady, the FBI agent who ginned the case up against him and Keith Weissman, to — what? An arm wrestling match? A potato sack race?
It’s not so far-fetched. Szady, retired from Spookville, now runs the World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts (yes, that stands for WAMMA).
Meantime, Zachary Roth at Talking Points Memo crunches some dates and figures out that the initial leak to Time Magazine in 2006 of Harman’s alleged offer to intervene on behalf of the AIPAC 2 came just three days after her staff released a report on the involvement of associates of CIA director Porter Goss in the cash-for-contracts scandal that jailed U.S. Rep. Randy Cunningham (D-Calif.). That helped force Goss out of the agency. He quotes my earlier post that uncovered evidence between the lines of an NY Times story suggesting it was Goss who initiated the Harman investigation.
UPDATE: Over at her blog War and Piece, Laura Rozen (of FP’s The Cable) corrects the timeline: Goss was sacked before – not after – the report about Harman was leaked. So Harman’s release of the report on Cunningham, per se, did not affect Goss personally – but it helped tarnish his associates.
Laura also examines the dates of the leaks and wonders: Was one of the reasons Goss pushed out by his boss, John Negroponte, the very decision to open a file on Harman?
My read of a more recent CQ piece about then DNI John Negroponte also telling Goss not to brief Congressional leadership about Harman caught on the wiretap is that Negroponte was also trying to shut down what he thought was a rogue effort to pursue investigation of Harman. One now wonders if the well-known Negroponte-Goss tensions that ultimately resulted in Goss being resigned was also fueled by his concerns about Goss and the Gosslings’ actions on the Harman matter.